Friday, March 18, 2011


Ice going out on the pond near my house.
“To think to know the country and not know

The hillside on the day the sun lets go
Ten million silver lizards out of snow!”

from Robert Frost’s A Hillside Thaw.

The geese aren’t flying in formation, instead their vees are raggedy; geese in disarray, raucously joyful. They’re only headed as far north as the muddy cornfields, the river, the ice-crinkled edges of the pond. They come trailing warmth on their wings, pulling summer behind them on their way to Canada. Not long now, they say; I can read their writing against the gray and weeping sky.

Songbirds, too, are part of the great awakening, and the bright green spears of daffodil and crocus. What snow remains is spellbound, unable to leave without April’s permission. A word from her and it will change into a rush of silver lizards, as undisciplined in flight as the raucous, joyous geese. I read Robert Frost and wait.


Brian Miller said...

supposed to be in the 80s it! was gorgeous yesterday...perhaps my wait is over...and yours will come soon!

Judith said...

To think I never knew of this Frost:
"Ten million silver lizards out of snow!"

Gorgeous! Thanks, Pauline.

"They come trailing warmth on their wings, pulling summer behind them on their way to Canada."
You're no slouch either, my dear.

Tabor said...

This is a new one for me as well. The ducks have returned to the river here.

Russell said...

That water looks pretty deep to me! Not like the little farm ponds we have here in Iowa. And the trees surrounding it are, well, again, a whole different world from Iowa.

I am just beginning to see some robins now. March is very unpredictible and can be in the 70s one day (as in yesterday) or an ice storm the next (not the case today at least).

The Robert Frost quote is nice - can't be the true classics. His power of observation and, more than that, ability to put on paper extremely complicated images with such (seemingly) simple word patterns has always amazed me.

Take care.

Roberta S said...

Pauline, your word pictures of the geese in disarray makes me smile. Great joy always brings with it a bit of silliness - the silly dance, the prance, the jump, the run, and for geese - a disassembled flight pattern - so cute, so funny, I can almost hear them laughing with joy if they feel like I do after this long long winter. Most enjoyable little read, that was.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Daffodil and crocus-- their first sprouts are my favorite part of Spring. It's almost time!
have a great weekend, jj

Pauline said...

Brian M - it's warm here today too and windy!

Judith - it's one of my (many) favorite Frost poems :)

Tabor, ducks and gulls have joined the geese on the pond. The chorus is loud!

Russell - I don't know how deep the pond is in the middle but I know it's stocked and fished often. It's an old mill pond. The spillway is still in evidence but the mills are long gone. Frost has long been one of my favorite poets!

Roberta - you make me smile :) Thanks for being a consistent fan...

JJ - hope you're weekend is a good one too. The daffodils' leaf spears are up in my garden but no flowers for a couple of weeks.

Hilary said...

Waiting .. and awakening. It's beginning to happen. Our ducks and geese hang around all winter but those songbirds are singing up a storm. Sigh!

Enjoy the weekend, Pauline.

Marion said...

I saw a single, ragged goose the other day, all by himself, honking and honking. He actually landed on the top of my driveway, looking as if he was truly lost and trying to collect himself. He had a ways to go before he would find Williams Lake and the nature park, where his cohorts had already flown towards about two hours earlier.

By the time he flew off, it was quite dark. I haven't been able to get him out of my mind and hope he was able to find his flock. With constant windy storms, some of the birds get disoriented, I think.

I keep telling myself Spring can't be far away, but with two feet of Snow on the ground, still...

One thing...when Spring does arrive here, she arrives with great gusto and fanfare!!

Barbara said...

Let the ten million silver lizards all slither away! We're all anxious for spring to be here. What a great image of the departing snow!

Brian Hayes said...

Was it Apollo saying? "...they throw a leafless wintry bough... and later they pull it studded with a galaxy of scintillating diamonds."

Ruth D~ said...

I love the image of the enthusiastic geese heading to their summer grounds.